Garland, TX – Unlike many other types of civil lawsuits, there is a specific process for a victim to start to report sexual harassment before they are able to sue. However, the victim can speak with a lawyer early in the process and start to receive guidance immediately. This procedure can involve actions at the workplace, reports to an employment commission, and a formal lawsuit as a last resort.
The steps before the lawsuit
A victim may experience one serious incident of harassment or multiple inappropriate acts in the workplace, then they can start to take action. It is best for the victim to not wait too long, as all civil lawsuits have a statute of limitations and it is more difficult to gather evidence after months or years have passed.
The victim should formally tell the person or people responsible for the harassment that their behavior is inappropriate and unwelcome. This can create a record that those responsible were warned and that their behavior was not acceptable.
The next step is for the victim to also give their employer some kind of notice. This is done through a human resources department or other individuals at the company. Victims should not have to report harassment to their direct boss or superiors. It is also important for the victim to remember important details of this process such as when and where the harassment took place, as well as the date that they informed their employer.
The formal complaint
Workers can find a local agency or federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file a complaint against their employer. Legal assistance is recommended during this process, as the complaint and investigation process has a number of formalities that need to be observed. The commission that is active in the jurisdiction has the authority to not only investigate the employer, but make recommendations and take more serious actions such as issuing fines and sanctioning the workplace.
A civil harassment lawsuit
After these remedies are exhausted, the victim will normally receive some kind of acknowledgement from the commission that they have the right to sue their employer. At this point, the victim’s attorney can file a formal complaint that details the allegations of harassment, and asks for specific financial remedies such as lost wages and the costs associated with finding new employment. However, the victim does not need to have lost their job to take legal action and ask for compensation. The attorney may also start to collect hard evidence from the workplace during the discovery process, as there will need to be more than the victim’s words and testimony to succeed in the case.
Local attorneys can help
Moore and Associates handles harassment cases in Garland and other parts of Texas.
Firm contact info:
440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002